Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (PG)
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan
Directed by Jake Kasdan
It’s The Breakfast Club meets Tron when four teens — a brain, an athlete, a basket case and a princess — are transported into the titular video game world which looks a lot like Hawaii. There, the foursome embark on a treasure hunt in their avatars — played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black, respectively — each imbued with a set of strengths and weaknesses.
For those unfamiliar with the Robin Williams original (there’s only one token reference to his character — so there goes the nostalgia value), this jungle adventure is an Indiana Jones rip-off, awe-free and uninspired. But there’s enough silliness to appeal to undemanding kids of a certain age. Elsewhere, the body swap shtick gets tiresome after a while, especially with Black channelling his inner queen bee (look out, there’s a family-friendly erection gag!).
Johnson is likeable as usual, always game to send himself up, but he isn’t the Franchise Viagra here, though; he’s more like a placebo. His alter ego has a very cool name, Smolder Bravestone. Sadly, this movie rarely catches fire. (**)